The penalties for a commercial vehicle speeding ticket conviction can be more severe than for regular drivers.
A Commercial Vehicle Speeding Ticket Versus a Regular Driver
A commercial vehicle driving ticket is the most common ticket for CDL holders, and if convicted, their insurance increases, just like a regular driver. However, fines are more expensive. They get 50 percent more negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points for each violation. A commercial driver can lose their job over just one speeding ticket.
Therefore, it is crucial for a commercial vehicle driver who gets a speeding ticket to consult a traffic attorney. Otherwise, their livelihood could be at stake. Some fleet managers will not even tolerate a driver with just one conviction for a moving violation.
DOT FMCSA Regulations require a CDL holder to notify their employer of a traffic ticket conviction within 30 days. The DMV will send a notification to your employer if convicted, and forward the conviction to the FMCSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) for inclusion on your Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record.
Therefore, not only can your current employer terminate you after a moving violation conviction, but fleet managers that you apply to are required to check your PSP. However, if you’re acquitted, there is no record.
Possible Penalties for a Commercial Vehicle Speeding Ticket Conviction
The regular driver in CA has four levels of speeding tickets:
- Level one is speeding 1-15 mph over the speed limit, and the fine is about $238, with one NOTS point.
- Level two is 16-24 mph over the speed limit, and the fine is about $360, with one NOTS point.
- Level three is 25 mph over the speed limit up to 99 mph, and the fine is about $490, with one NOTS point.
- Level four is anything over 100 mph, and the fine is about $900-2,500, with two NOTS points.
The commercial vehicle speeding ticket levels DO NOT include 100+ mph; it just doesn’t happen.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406, Speed Laws, restricts most commercial vehicles with three or more axles or those towing a trailer to 55 mph. CVC 22406.1, Other Speed Laws, makes it a misdemeanor crime to exceed 55 mph in one of those commercial vehicles by 15 or more mph. What’s more, the FMCSA considers it a “serious offense.”
The FMCSA assigns Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points for speeding. These points are assigned primarily to the carrier, though they are reflected on the driver's PSP. The carrier’s SMS level is determined by the number of severity points they receive, multiplied by a time weight.
If they received CSA points in the same Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASICs) category within the previous six months, the severity points are multiplied by three, two if six months to a year has elapsed since their last violation in that category, and they maintain face value for one to two years.
A complicated algorithm involving the number of vehicles in the fleet and the miles driven decides their percentile, which could trigger further interventions and more inspections. For instance, if the carrier’s DOT number has an SMS percentile between 75 and 100, they will be called in for almost all roadside inspections.
These are the CSA severity point penalty levels for a commercial vehicle speeding ticket convictions:
1. Speeding between 6 and 10 mph over the limit is four CSA points.
2. Speeding 11 to 14 mph over the limit is seven CSA points.
3. Speeding 15 or more mph over the limit, or any speeding in a construction zone, is a maximum of 10 CSA severity points, with a possible 30 total.
In CA, there are three levels of fines for commercial vehicle speeding convictions:
- 1-9 mph over the limit is about a $285 fine and three NOTS points.
- 10-14 mph over the limit is about a $500 fine and three NOTS points.
- 15 mph over the speed limit is a possible $1,000, county jail or probation, and three NOTS points.
Keep in mind that a conviction for speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit in a commercial vehicle is a serious offense according to the FMCSR 49 CFR Part 383.51. The second such conviction within three years of the first will result in a 60-day driver disqualification and a third, a 120-day disqualification.
Should You Challenge a Commercial Vehicle Speeding Ticket?
Although every situation is different, every CDL holder should consult a traffic attorney before deciding whether to dispute a traffic ticket.
Commercial Vehicle Speeding Ticket Attorneys for the Woodland, CA, Area
We are CA traffic attorneys who can help you resolve a commercial vehicle speeding ticket in the Woodland area. Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, for legal advice about your traffic tickets and DMV Hearings. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
CVC Section 22406 & 22406.1, Other Speed Laws
TheBalance.com article, How CSA Points Affect Truckers